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IT Jobs Available in a Full-Employment Economy

Joseph Gulla starts a new series on IT jobs in today’s economy.

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In this post, I am starting a series on IT jobs in today’s economy—a full employment economy. To economists, full employment means that unemployment has fallen to the lowest possible level that won't cause inflation. In the U.S., that was once thought to be a jobless rate of about 5%. There is considerable discussion about the full employment rate, but since we are at 3.7% employment right now, it’s pretty certain that we’re at or near full employment even though 6.1 million people are still looking for work. Not everyone looking for work is a good match for the available jobs. So what does that mean for IT jobs?

Are There Job Openings in IT?

You bet. Maybe this is an atypical measure but one company, a leading web services provider, has over 13,000 openings on the website. These jobs have titles like IT support technician, IT support engineer I, IT support associate I and IT manager, to list just a few. These job openings are all over the U.S.

Let’s look at the results of a simple and very broad search and the data that it provides:

            Input label: Job title, keywords, or company      My Input: IT
            Input label: City, state, or ZIP code                    My input: U.S.

A Summary of the Search Results  

The four tables listed below summarize the results of the query—show me all of the IT jobs in the U.S. (on the Indeed website). Table 1 below indicates a range of $45,000 to $110,000 covering more than 361,500 jobs. Most jobs can be found at the $45,000 level.

Table 1. Salary

Salary Estimate $45,000 $65,000 $80,000 $95,000 $110,000 
Count of Jobs  119,007   95,528   74,259   48,075   24,633

Table 2 shows the broad range of job types. It also confirms the growing importance of contract workers. A contract employee is hired for a specific job at a specific rate of pay. A contract employee doesn’t become a regular addition to the staff and isn’t considered a permanent employee.

Table 2. Job Type

Job Type  Full time Contract Part time   Temporary   Internship Commission
Count of Jobs 130,626 7,111 6,677 2,171 1,420 739

Table 3 below lists five locations in the U.S. with a specific number of IT job openings.

Table 3. Five Sample Locations With Many Jobs

Location Washington, D.C. New York, New York Chicago Atlanta Houston
Count of Jobs 4,504   3,331 2,600   1,813 1,683

Table 4 indicates the number of job openings by experience level. Perhaps it’s a bit surprising that the experience level with the most job openings is mid-level but not unexpectedly. You can’t run an IT department with all entry-level employees.

Table 4. Three Experience Levels

Experience Level Mid-level  Entry level Senior level
Count of Jobs 64,141  32,389   21,164

What Is the IT Organization or Position Type for These Jobs?

The way that IT departments are organized varies by company. Some IT departments are somewhat unchanged over the last decade or two whereas other have embraced a new approach to organizing people and what they do. David McNally identifies two basic types as discussed below. There are others to explore as well, but let’s start here.

Long-Standing IT Departments

Here, the business relationships are handled by application development and the solutions map to existing infrastructure, which sometimes inhibits innovation. People in operations have a role to play with customer relationships as well—not just the application development team. The IT department tree has the CIO at the top with three groups below, including application development, infrastructure and operations. 

McNally indicates that many organizations have found another way to organize their IT department that has a focus on services. He labels this the services-based organization. This type of organization arrangement has an impact on how people spend their day as many have service management positions like services portfolio and service strategy managers.

Services-Based IT Organization

With the services-based IT organization, the roles have been realigned and service management is used as a way to refocus the organizational mission. This different organizational focus fosters innovation that utilizes shared IT services, which is an old idea that has been revitalized in the same way that APIs have a new meaning in IT. Here is a snapshot of McNally’s figure for a services-oriented IT department. This department tree has the CIO at the top with a broader variety of teams below including service management, architecture, IT shared service, application development, infrastructure and operations.

These different organizational approaches have an impact on the positions that the IT organization uses to move its missions forward. Some positions are long standing whereas others are new and looking to be tested.

There are other views of the IT organization.

Some models encourage the decentralized network enablement of digital transformation. This isn’t a service orientation, but rather support for a mission like “digital transformation.” In Forbes online, Jacob Morgan writes about different approaches: flatter, flat, flatarchies (both flat and hierarchies) and holacratic (distributed decision making while giving everyone the opportunity to work on what they do best) organizations. These different approaches will definitely have an impact on some of the jobs and job descriptions that show up on the job sites. Next week, I’ll explore these positions as they appear in the job sites like indeed and ziprecruiter.

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